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Kids Routine Chart and Printables

For some time now I’ve been pinning and saving routine chart ideas for my 3 year old.  Peanut loves to know what is happening and initiate activities on her own.  She often asks me questions like, “Is today choir day?” or “Do we get to go to the park today?” or “Is it snack time yet?”  As such, I knew for both her sanity and mine we needed some type of routine chart that she could follow day in and day out.  

 

First, I gathered on all the routines and compared what I liked and disliked about each as there are several great things I knew I’d want to incorporate.  Here’s my analysis.  Keep in mind, while these charts did not quite fit the needs of our family, they may be just what you need for your family so don’t discount their effectiveness on account of my own investigation.   Feel free to check them out for yourself.  

Chart #1

 

Daily Schedule from Tip Junkie

Pros Cons
  • Child can see when he finishes a project/event
  • Lots of neat scheduled play ideas
  • Use of pictures AND words
  • Attractive to the child
  • Cards would most likely not get lost because they are attache
  • Size–each chart is the length of a poster board
  • Number–there’s a different board for EACH day.  Where would I store them all?
  • Inflexibility—what if something special happens that day and its not on the routine chart?

 

 

Chart #2
Morning Routine on How Does She?
Pros Cons
  • Use of pictures AND words
  • Child cannot see when he finishes a project/event
  • Inflexibility—what if something special happens that day and its not on the routine chart?
  • Lack of color

 

Chart #3
Chore Chart Cards on Biblical Homemaking
Pros Cons
  • Use of pictures AND words
  • Can travel with the child…but, would this make it easier to lose?
  • Child can flip to the next card when he finishes a project/event
  •  Flexible—cards can be switched out by opening the ring and rearranging the cards as desired
  • Child cannot see the entire day at a glance
Chart #4
Routine Chart on Homemaker’s Challenge

 

Pros Cons
  • Use of pictures AND words
  • Child can see the entire day at a glance
  • Flexible—cards can be switched out by the clip of a pin
  • Child can take down the card when he finishes a project/event
  • Pictures have to be hand colored
  • String is hung using push pins on the wall…would my hubby let me put that many more holes in the wall?
  • Cards go in a box.  You have to sort through the box every day to put the cards back up in order
Chart # 5
Chore Chart from Money Saving Mom

 

Pros Cons
  • Child can check off events/projects when he finishes
  • Child can see the entire day at a glance
  • Flexible—within the week.  Not a daily schedule
  • No pictures
  • Must hand write every event every day/week

     

 

Conclusion
 
When it was all said and done I knew I wanted to incorporate the following in our routine chart:
  • Use of pictures and words so that the chart could grow with her as she learns to read but also work with her now while she can only look at the pictures.
  • Use labels that could also be used on our workbox chart in case we ever want to cross over
  • Color and attractive images
  • Flexibility to switch out labels when desired but also constant enough that the labels do not have to be reset every day
  • Ability to view the entire day at once or at least an entire set of routines at once
  • Ability to check off or mark an activity/event complete for self-satisfaction
  • Way to store labels for easy retrieval (so that you don’t have to pull them all out of a box to find what you need)
  • Small enough in size to fit on the refrigerator inconspicuously or the backside of a narrow closet door
The Result
 
As a result, I created the My Day Routine Chart, a customizable routine chart that can aid Peanut not only now but also grow with her as she grows.  She has been using it for about a month now and still enjoys marking when she’s completed tasks on her to-do lists.  In addition, they have really helped us for better morning and bedtime routines.  It’s been great!
 
My Day Chart which is on our refrigerator
 
On each Routine Chart there are a series of numbered boxes.  As you’ll notice in the picture above there are two boxes with the number 1, two boxes with the number 2 and so on.  I place all the activity labels in the top box and when Peanut finishes a task she moves it to the bottom box with the same number.  What I really like about this is on days where the activities stay the same, I don’t have to do anything.   Instead, Peanut will just move the labels from the lower box back to the upper box on the second day.  It saves me time, Peanut can still see that she completed a task, but we don’t loose any labels because they always stay attached.  
 
Currently we have 4 routine charts.  For our regular routines such as our morning routine, afternoon (nap time) routine, and bedtime routine each routine has its own chart.  Since these activities never change we have these on Peanut’s closet for her to mark herself every day. 
 
Her “My Day” chart is the other chart we use and this is where I change out the labels if our day has some special events such as shopping or church or visiting friends.  Beside this chart we keep the “Spare Me” chart where we store all our spare labels for easy retrieval.  
 
Morning, Afternoon, and Bedtime Routine Charts
 
I specifically created these charts so that they can be adjusted in size based on the needs of each child.  For instance, if you look at the afternoon and bedtime chart above they only have 7 doubled boxes where the morning routine has 14 boxes.  Each routine chart is created so that you can have anywhere from 7 to 28 activities depending on how many activities you want to include on your chart.  Just cut the chart off after the desired row to make it how long or short you desire.  Right now our morning chart is 14 squares long because we are still in the final stages of potty training.  Eventually I hope to not have to include “diaper” and “panties” and “go potty” on every chart shortening it to only 7 squares, but for now we’ll leave it as is to remind both mommy and Peanut that its potty time.

 

Highlights
 
If you are interested in printing off some of routine charts to use with your own children, let me just give you a few highlights of some of what you will find in the FREE printable packet below.
  1. 8 printable pages
  2. 4 customizable routine charts–”My Morning Routine,” “My Afternoon Routine,” “My Bedtime Routine,” and “My Day” 
  3. 1 single square “My Day” routine chart for when the child gets older and does not need to move the labels to see they have completed an activity
  4. 1 Spare Me Card for unused activity labels
  5. 1 routine chart extension page–to extend your routine charts from 14 to 28 square activities
  6. 98 round activity cards! 
Making Your Charts
 
To make these charts, you will need computer paper, access to a laminator (I use this one, but you can always go to someplace like Mardel where they will let you laminate for $.25/foot), some scissors, and lots of velcro dots (number varies depending on how many activity cards and activity squares you will be using).
 
1.  Download and print the free routine charts below.
2.  Decide on the length of your charts.  Do you want 7 double squares or 28 double squares?  Cut accordingly.
3.  Laminate your charts and labels.
4.  Cut out your labels and spare me chart.
5.  Apply velcro dots to your charts and labels. 
6.  Hang and use.
 
Note:  Bear in mind that learning how to use the routine charts effectively, as with anything you teach your children, will take some time but I have been amazed at how quickly Peanut has caught on and enjoys using it each day.  
 
To receive your free printables, just click on the image below.  Enjoy!
 
 
Bring up a child by teaching him the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn away from it.   Proverbs 22:6




Kathy

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Comments

  1. cube2farm says

    Brilliant!!! I love how you did your research, determined what was most important and then dove in and created it to share! I agree totally with your analysis and can’t wait to use these charts. Thank you!!!

  2. says

    I love the charts, I have little ones and I keep telling myself to make some charts. I think now u can actually make one modeled after yours, absolutely brilliant.

  3. says

    What a great job you did- our routines around here are pretty laid back, so this might be very helpful for us! Especially when my son starts kindergarten in the Fall :) Thanks again- hope you have a great week!

  4. says

    OMG!! thank you! This is so perfect for me. i’ve been trying to find something to work on a schedule for months, but can’t find one that I can figure out, let alone my little guy. This is so easy for me, which means I’ll be able to explain it to him and keep up with it. i can not say thank you enough. I am so grateful for mommies like you who are able to figure this stuff out for mommies like me!

    Marissa @ forfunreadinglist.blogspot.com

  5. says

    Wow! These are great and sounds like the idea was very well researched! (That would be me –find out what else is out there and then moosh it all together to fit our family!) Kids do so much better when they have a routine and know what to expect. This looks like the perfect tool! Thanks so much for sharing on Busy Monday at A Pinch of Joy. Hope to see you again soon!

  6. says

    Thank you so much for this! I am printing it out now and am excited to try it out. My son thrives on routine (though I am horrible at it!) and my last chart I made only worked for a few days. I think this will work better so we will see!

    • says

      I’m sad to say Scribd has recently changed their download policy. Scribd is still a free service as long as you sign up and contribute a document (it can be anything…even zzzzz’s on a page) but I understand not everyone wants to do that. E-mail me and I’ll see what I can do. And, in the meantime, I’m going to be looking for an alternative. Suggestions, anyone?

      Kathy

  7. says

    Kathy- just stumbled across ur blog and LOVE IT! Love the routine chart, question, when making our own round activity cards on the blank ones provided, is there a program that i can use, that i can cut and paste? Or do i need to print out ur labels and then separately glue each customized label? thanks so much.. any advice will help

    • says

      Welcome! Customized labels…I used Microsoft Publisher and Office’s pics for most of my clip art. If you choose to make your own I made the circles 1″. Hope that helps. Have fun!

  8. Jennifer says

    Thank you for doing all the leg work to develop the routine charts! I’ve been a “fly by your seat” and unstructured mom for too long now. It FINALLY occurred to me that having a routine like my daughter has in school would be not only beneficial to me, however both my children. Treat my stay at home life like I would working outside the home. Again, I really appreciate the hard work and time you put into this. Blessings, Jennifer

    • says

      I’m glad you like it. I laminated the page and then cut them out. Call me lazy, but I just didn’t want to have to cut the circles out twice. LOL. They seem to have held up pretty well though. I’ve occasionally had to glue a couple back together but for the time saved cutting the circles out twice, I say it was worth it. Hope that helps.

  9. says

    I love this. I am just starting to home school my 4 year old, and I think this will help us a lot! I am going to have to make a circle that says “underpants” though, since he doesn’t wear “panties” :) lol

    • says

      Lol. I didn’t even think about that! Maybe you could just mark out the word “panties” with a black permanent marker unless your 4 year old reads already. Sorry about that!

  10. says

    This ROCKS!!!! I am so grateful you did this. I thought wow I really need to get organized and get in a routine but I knew that me and Madeleine needed to have visuals to help us. Thank you so very much for sharing your wisdom and hardwork and for FREEEEEEEE! Wow thank you!

  11. Jeanette says

    I loove it. I was just going to revamp our old one and this seems to be a very good idea. I appreciate you sharing it.

  12. April says

    I just wanted to say Thank you Thank you Thank you! I was searching online for a bedtime chart for my 4 year and old your chart is going to work perfect!

  13. Heidi says

    Hi! I just discovered your blog after searching for bedtime routine ideas. Thanks for making these great printables available! We have our morning and bedtime charts done, and have been using them for 4 days with great results. My 3 yo daughter loves moving the pieces when she finishes a task :) THANKS!

  14. says

    I cant wait to try this. My son seems to thrive on routine, but I am terrible at thinking ofbthis type of stuff. Did you use velcroon this?

  15. says

    Wow! Thank you so much! I just suffered a stroke with three small children – and am looking for charts for my kids. This is a tremendous help!

  16. Penny says

    Thanks for sharing! Circles and images are great! We printed them out and started our charts today! Thanks again!

    • says

      Good thinking! Let me know how it goes. I used to work some with special needs kids in the public school setting. I know everyone is different but I could definitely see where having a chart could help them better cope with their day. Hopefully this will do the trick!

  17. melissa hoaglund says

    I am excited to try and put together a schedule for my 10 yr old son, he’s mildly autistitic and needs a LOT of visual aids and I need A LOT of help putting them together!!

  18. therapist4families says

    I just “stumbled” onto this web page and am so glad I did! Working with families as a therapist who teaches parents how to provide structure and consistency at home is a daunting task. But your colorful task buttons make it a pleasure. Thanks and God bless!

  19. lesley tymchuk says

    The chart you made is FANTASTIC! My child has attentional difficulties and a child psychologist recommended we make a chart exactly like the one you did- thank you, thank you, thank you! The printables are so appreciated. You are wonderful.

  20. Kristine says

    God Bless You!!!!! Thank you, thank you for sharing this so freely! Your charts will help me and my wee lil’ toddlers.

    Thank you so much,
    Kristine

  21. Sandy says

    thank you so very much for creating and sharing these charts. I have been searching for something like this for my preschooler for a while. I already have the Velcro dots (love them!) and am eager to try the move the task to the finished spot. Getting ready to leave in the morning can be so difficult– I am looking forward to making your chart and giving it a try– I am confident it is going to be so helpful (as I know she will love moving the task over to the finish spot!) Thanks again and keep up the great work!! :)

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